W-Vibe 

Friday, January 2; Lemmons

Oh, your aching head. Sure, you had all of New Year's Day to recover from your drunkenness, but your head still feels like an over-inflated balloon on January 2. The second day of the new year and already all the hope and shining possibility of rebirth has been aborted by a massive hangover. This is not the time for experimental noise rock.

That's why W-Vibe has been fortuitously booked on this lamest night of the year. You're broke, cold and hungover, and you need an infusion of cheesy instrumental keyboard pop to lift your spirits. Your liver may be talking up rebellion to the rest of your viscera, but your head will be in the clouds -- specifically the bitmapped Mario Bros. clouds of your adolescent dreams. W-Vibe makes plinging, chirping (but not wince-inducing) Moog soundtracks to video games that never were. They've gone so far as to name one of their songs "Video Game Champ," and one of the very few phrases that bubbles up on their Libra Action EP is the title to the song "Rubik's Cube 55."

This could all get very annoying, especially for those who have recently poisoned themselves. Luckily, W-Vibe doesn't push the tempo and actually lets the music breathe, which is rare in this kind of kitsch pop. Most fellas who don matching helmets to play the keyboard together have already made a pact to annoy the living shit out of you. But this duo seems to take its instruments seriously, and while the songs are undeniably retro and certainly heavy on the cheese, there's a level of craftsmanship that makes it all worthwhile. It's Xbox Age bachelor-pad music and just the right kind of geeky-cool to sip a club soda to. Oh, your aching head.

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